October 30, 2017

In Regulatory Reviews, DOE and EPA Outline Agency Objectives Under Trump Administration

This week, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released their respective reports on potential areas of regulatory reform. The reports were spurred by President Trump’s March 28 executive order requiring agencies to review all existing regulations to identify those that are seen as burdens on the development or use of domestically produced energy resources. Both agencies issued Requests for Information to inform their studies, and the results released this week represent a sampling of the feedback received and a look at the intentions of these two agencies.

The EPA Report

EPA's report highlighted the need to ensure that the regulations it promulgates “are consistent with underlying laws and policies” — a clear reaction to criticisms that EPA had gone beyond its authority under the previous administration. The report highlights several themes it took from the comments, including the need to:

  • Streamline complex permitting programs.
  • Restore EPA’s co-regulatory relationship with the states.
  • Increase transparency pertaining to the economic impact of agency actions.
  • Enhance EPA’s understanding of the entities it regulates.

The report notes several specific areas of focus, including the New Source Review program, National Ambient Air Quality Standards, the impact of regulations on employment and the EPA’s recently launched Smart Sectors program.

The DOE Report

In completing DOE's report, the agency examined directives and policies related to the production and transport of energy as well as the management of the National Laboratories. The report’s recommendations include:

  • Streamlining natural gas exports.
  • Reviewing National Laboratory policies to emphasize their focus on early-stage research.
  • Reviewing National Environmental Policy Act regulations.
  • Reviewing a number of potential areas within its appliance standards program.

These reports will serve as roadmaps to the goals and objectives of these two important agencies and create opportunities to establish relationships with key personnel on these topics. These agencies have stated their intention to work closely with regulated entities to better understand the impact of their actions on industry.

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